My Mistake

We went to Outback for dinner. I kept an eye out for kangaroos but didn’t see any. I thought I saw a duck-billed platypus. It turned out to be a woman who had that Botox thing done to her lips.

Dave Thomas

May 24, 2023

Bottom Feeders

I was thinking of the Republicans and Trumpsters. That may be redundant as they seem to be one and the same. I was wondering how low that scumbag Trump has to go before they abandon him. Let’s list some of the things that are attributed to him by others:


Coward! He knew the Secret Service wouldn’t let him go to the Capitol building on January 6, so he sent his henchmen to take the blame in case the coup attempt failed.



Liable for sex crimes

Alleged to have raped more than 20 women


White supremacist

Tax cheater

Trump followers are as disgusting as he is if they find these things acceptable.

Dave Thomas

May 24, 2023

The Story of Pat’s Picture

Happy Mother’s Day to Pat!

My wife, Pat, turns 79 today. Two years ago, I sent the kids and grand-kids a little story about the picture she had taken for her 50th birthday. It is my favorite picture so I’m posting it to the blog today.
Dave Thomas  
November 29, 2016


My wife, your Mom/Grandma/Great-Grandma, Pat, has always been self-conscious about having her picture taken and usually dodges the issue. However, as she approached her 50th birthday she thought it might be a good idea to have her portrait done. Being a Sears employee, she made an appointment with the Sears Portrait Studio. She showed up at the proper time but had to wait because the little boy who was scheduled ahead of her wasn’t cooperating. He was unhappy, wouldn’t smile, and just flat didn’t want to be there. His Mother was doing her best to encourage him but it wasn’t helping. The photographer, an old hand at dealing with kids, reached into a cabinet behind him and came up with some sock puppets. He put one on his hand and started talking in a goofy voice and quickly had the kid laughing. The photographer soon had all the shots he needed of the boy and it was Pat’s turn. The photographer got Pat situated with a proper background, made suggestions for posing, and was ready to take pictures. However, Pat went into her normal tight-jawed, picture-taking mood and wouldn’t smile. The guy kept talking to her and trying to get her to lighten up but it wasn’t working. Finally, in desperation, he asked “how do I get you to loosen up and smile?” She says ”Well, you might try treating me like that little boy.” So, the photographer puts on the sock puppet and starts talking in a goofy voice and all of a sudden Pat is laughing! The guy starts snapping pictures and gets some fantastic shots. He captures the Pat I know so well with laughing eyes, maximum dimples, and full of fun. The picture I’m including is the best and most real picture you will ever see of her. You might want to save it.

Dave/Dad/Grandpa Thomas
October 9, 2014



Cinco de Mayo (Repost)

It’s almost May and Pat reminded me that we have a Cinco de Mayo story. This took place in the mid-1990’s. I’m a diabetic and sometime in 1993, I got a diabetic ulcer on the bottom of my right foot. My doctors fought it for a year and a half and couldn’t get it to heal. Finally, it was decided to amputate the right leg below the knee. This was done and I got a prosthesis and life got back to normal. The following spring, I wasn’t paying attention and the prosthesis rubbed against the side of my knee and caused a sore that immediately became infected. This had happened before and it meant anti-biotics, at least 2 doctor visits, and 6 weeks in the wheel chair without my leg.

So anyhow, I’m riding my wheel chair and here it is…Cinco de Mayo. Pat and I decided we should join in the festivities by having lunch at Casa de Pico, our favorite Mexican restaurant in Old Town San Diego. We got there and the place was as colorful and beautiful as always. We sat on the patio to take advantage of the warm, sunny day and to hear the music and listen to the chatter and the laughter of the other patrons. Pat ordered a blended margarita in the big glass with the salt on the rim and, being diabetic, I ordered coffee.

As we waited to be served, we talked and admired the holiday decorations. There were some miniature Mexican flags on the tables so Pat took a couple and attached them to the handlebars of my wheel chair. We enjoyed our meal and left the restaurant and then headed for the side gate to leave the area. Getting through the wrought iron gate we needed to go about 50 yards down the side street to the parking lot. Pat was pushing me in the wheel chair and I was teasing and smart-mouthing her about drinking the margarita and maybe being too tipsy to push me. She countered by pushing faster to show that she could handle the job. I was having a heck of a good time and started yelling “faster, faster”. Pat was up to the challenge and in a few seconds was up to full speed. We were flying down the street with Mexican flags flying and Pat sprinting for dear life. We were looking good until we hit the pot-hole. Wham! Pat ran into the back of the wheel chair and I was dumped into the street. Yow, this is gonna’ hurt! Maybe next time I’ll keep my mouth shut.

Dave Thomas
April17, 2016

The Big Trip of 1944, Part 3 (Repost)

One big thing that we all enjoyed was a parade that was part of a War Bond Rally and featured General George Patton and General Jimmy Doolittle. I believe the parade was on Wilshire Boulevard. I remember that Grandpa drove us over there and we sat on the curb and waited to see the war heroes. There were several cars in the parade and the two Generals were riding in the back seat of a convertible.

Grandpa had been telling us about Walter Knott and his berry farm and the delicious boysenberries he grew there. We went there one day and I remember it as being out in the middle of a large grove. We drove down a lane, through the trees until we got to a clearing where there were a few old buildings.

Knott's Jail 1940's

Knott’s Berry Farm Jail, 1940’s

We got out of the car and walked over to a building that looked like a jail. Inside, there was a dummy that looked like a real bad guy. It scared the devil out of us when he started talking! We talked to him for a while about his plight and his sorry history and then were completely amazed when he started talking about our trip and other personal things that we hadn’t mentioned. We kept up a conversation but kept wondering how this dummy knew so much about us. We soon heard Grandpa yelling for us from around the corner of the next building. We hadn’t noticed that he wasn’t still with us. We went around the corner of the building and found Grandpa and Walter Knott laughing like crazy. Mr. Knott held up a microphone and told how he and Grandpa had conspired and tricked us. We continued to have a great time and bought several jars of boysenberry jam before we left. Even today, we’ll be in a grocery store and I’ll see jars of jam with the distinctive Knott’s Berry Farm script and I’ll flash back on some of these memories.

Knott's 2

           It’s been 70 years but I still recognize this guy that talked to us from the jail.

I didn’t know where we were but one day we drove past an aircraft factory. I would guess now, that we must have been in the Santa Monica area. There were planes parked everywhere and the whole area was covered with camouflage netting. The top of the netting looked like grass, vegetation, and homes. Remember, at this time of the war, we didn’t know but what the Japanese would be attacking the west coast at any time. The way the netting covered the whole area, it made it look like homes and farms. I don’t remember now what types of planes we saw, but I recognized them at the time. Like most American kids, I had studied my “spotter” cards and recognized almost every plane I saw. For you young people who haven’t seen them, the “spotter” cards came in a deck and were the same size as regular playing cards. Each card was devoted to a different airplane and told what it was and what its identifying features were. Also, there were 3 or 4 different views of each plane so you could identify it when seen from any angle. Anyhow, the sight of all those planes and that camouflage brought the war a little closer to home.

Lockheed Plant-before

Lockheed Plant Before Camouflage

Lockheed Plant-after

Lockheed Plant After Camouflage

Mom and Dad wanted to visit Ruby Mae in San Diego. She actually lived in El Cajon, just east of San Diego. Grandpa loaned us his car and we headed south on Highway 101. Dad had promised that we could go swimming in the ocean and as soon as we began seeing it, we began begging to swim. We finally got to La Jolla and Dad stopped in a good area of the beach and we all put on our swim suits. It was a gloomy, overcast morning, and pretty cool. This was what we now know as “June Gloom” and we were miserable. My sister and I had run down to the surf and waded in but turned right around and got out. That water was freezing cold and we weren’t about to go in again. Dad said that we had been whining for 100 miles and we had better get in the water and enjoy it. He finally gave up on us and dived into the surf and pretended that he was having the time of his life. Mom had already changed back into her dress as she wasn’t getting into that water either. We got through that experience and made it to Ruby’s place in El Cajon.

Ruby lived in the first or second block of west El Cajon Boulevard, just as you come in to town. She owned or managed a pottery shop there. Her house or building where she lived was set back from the street and the whole front yard was full of pottery. I remember the impression of an organized place of business and I imagine that it was because Ruby Mae was a high energy type of person.

Ruby took us to Tijuana and I remember it as being very colorful. My sister and I had our pictures taken while seated on those donkeys that have the “zebra” stripes painted on them.

Mom and Dad were surprised to receive unusual gifts from Ruby. They were a pair of flesh-colored highball glasses shaped like women’s torsos. She said the originals were made for ventriloquist Edgar Bergen by the pottery factory that supplied her with product.

The biggest thrill for me came when we attended the Roy Rogers Rodeo at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. For quite some time I had been going to the cowboy movies on Saturday afternoons and to get to see Roy Rogers and Trigger in person was a fantastic experience.

Roy and Trigger

Dave Thomas
February 4, 1994; Revised and added pictures March 5, 2015.

Lost Their Identity

America has big problems for our Congress to work on:

-Our children are being shot by the thousands.

-Global warming

-Healthcare for all Americans

-Women’s rights


-Civil rights

-Gay marriage

-Human rights

(And many more)

The Republicans, though, seem to have their own set of worries:


-Firing  those who teach sex education

-Banning those naughty books

-Stripping LGBTQ folks of their rights

-Checking gender for sports (by pulling down pants and checking gender?)

–Letting young women die rather than abort

It sounds like part of the Republicans are prudes or perverts, and the rest are just Trumpsters who can’t think for themselves and refuse to acknowledge that their leader instigated a coup attempt and is a traitor and all-around scumbag.

Dave Thomas


The Horse Feeder (repost)

I went to the doctor down in Fort Worth yesterday and when I got in the waiting room I sat down beside another senior citizen. We talked for a few minutes about the big storm that was due to hit during the night. After talking that over for a few minutes we were sitting quietly with our own thoughts. I was mainly thinking of the chores I should get done before the bad weather hit. Then, all of a sudden, he says, “We’re from up in Denton and we’ve got some horses on our place up there or, to be correct, I should say that my wife has some horses on our place up there. The problem is she’s afraid of storms and especially scared to death of being hit by lightning. So, when the big storms like this one come, I have to get out there and feed the horses. Among our family and friends I’m known as the “Sacrificial Horse Feeder.”

Dave Thomas
April 23, 2008

Reposted 3/23/23

Bouncing Around

I was digging through a box of stuff this morning and found my old dog tags. Thinking about it, that first sentence could have another meaning. Since I  haven’t worn the tags since 1961, I should definitely be classified as an old dog.


Banking officials are supposed to be experts in financial matters. Their Board of Directors reward their brilliance by bestowing huge bonuses upon them. If their bank fails, don’t you think they should give back the bonuses?


Putin and the head Chinese guy are supposed to be good buddies.  If the Chinese guy is really a buddy, he will council Putin that he should get out of Ukraine because it’s making him look like an ass.


The white supremacists think their defecations are not odorous (their shit doesn’t stink) because they have white skin. What confuses me is that these white guys spend millions every summer vacationing at the beach so they can get a good tan.


It’s been more than two years, and the traitorous scumbag who wants to destroy our democracy and our way of life is not in prison. What gives?


If you want to be happy and enjoy your old age, make sure that when your kids are young you give them lots of hugs and kisses and love and respect.

Dave Thomas


Company for Breakfast

Pat and I had gotten up just a few minutes before and were just sitting down at the

kitchen table with a cup of coffee. We heard a noise outside and Pat got up and opened

the curtains. There was a donkey with his lips almost against the window. He must have

been as startled as we because he cut loose with Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw and it was loud

enough to shake the house! We recognized the donkey as the pet of the Noble family

that lived several houses up the hill from us.

We had been visited by the donkey a couple of times before. We had a Shetland pony

for the kids that we kept in a corral next to our back fence. In the previous visits the

donkey had come down the back fence- line but for some reason this time he had come

down the street. I had my jeans on and was wearing flip-flops or thongs or shower shoes

or whatever you call them. I went out to the shed and got a lead rope and came back

and snapped it onto the halter the donkey was wearing. I headed for the street to take

him home and he was well-mannered and led on a slack rein, walking beside my


We got to the street and started up the hill but it was tough going for me. The asphalt

streets in our development had been sealed a couple of days before and then a fine

layer of sand had been spread on them. The footing wasnt that good and I kept

scooping up sand with my flip-flops. I was relieved when we got up the hill to the

Nobles house. However, about this time, the donkey must have realized he was almost

home and he snorted and whirled around and started running back down the hill. I dug

in my heels and yelled Whoaas I held onto the end of the lead rope. It was a wasted

effort! That donkey was going downhill as fast as he could go and I was out on the end of

that rope with my heels dug in and looking like a water skier on a slalom course. Our

wild ride finally got us to the bottom of the hill and as we got to our house, I could see

Pat in her pajamas and housecoat out in the front yard pointing at us and laughing like a

crazy woman. The donkey stopped and I looked back up the hill and here comes Noble,

laughing. He was kind enough to say that he had seen the donkey escape but had to get

dressed before he could come out. As you have read, I got no respect at all. It may have

been caused by the donkey but I made a complete ass of myself.

Dave Thomas

7/13/2014 (Repost on 3/11/21)

Take This Job and Love It

“Take This Job and Shove  It”  wailed  Johnny Paycheck.  I’ve never understood  that attitude. I’ve had many  jobs and have enjoyed them all. I’m talking about jobs as            defined by the job description and am not including the surrounding company atmosphere. Like most everyone, I have reported to people I didn’t like or respect. Like most blue-collar guys, I started with the basics. I swept floors, cleaned toilets, dug ditches, scooped out the cow barn after the milking was done, washed and greased cars, and did a lot of real manual labor. Time passed and I gained knowledge and experience and moved on up.  After the Navy, I started  as a  Test Technician, then Assistant- Assembly Foreman,  Assembly Foreman, Test Foreman,  Production  Supervisor,  Manufacturing Manager, Assistant Plant Manager, and Vice President.

It’s up to you to control your life. Don’t dismiss your job as being boring or meaningless. And don’t perform it as a robot or automaton. Be thankful for the job you have today. It’s feeding your kids and putting a roof over their heads. Equally important is the idea that you go home at night knowing that you have given it your best shot.

Don’t forget the importance of learning. You should learn as much as possible about the job you have, plus you should be preparing for your next job. Learning is an individual thing. In 1961, I was working for an electronics manufacturer as a Test Technician. We tested digital voltmeters, DC amplifiers, x-y recorders, and monitor oscilloscopes as they came off the production line. The technology was in flux as vacuum tubes were being replaced by semiconductors. I was working five ten hour days plus eight hours on Saturdays. Additionally, my commute time amounted to an hour to an hour and a half a day. I took a night course on transistor theory and integrated circuits at City College. It was a good class and has served me well over the years, but I hated being away from home at night. I had a wife, 3 kids, a home, and a yard and thought they all deserved more  attention than I was giving them. By 1962, I was an assistant foreman in the Assembly Department, and was getting involved in estimating and product costing. I found a correspondence course called “Accounting for Managers,” and went to work on it.  I got up at 4:45 each morning and studied until 6:00 am and then got ready to go to work. It took me over two years to complete the course, but it served me well for the rest of my working life.

About the time I was turning 60, the company I was working for was sold. The new owners were bringing in their own people, so I was let go. I was a little bit anxious about the future as I knew that most companies would be looking for young guys as managers, and I might have trouble finding a position. I was also reluctant to get acquainted with a new company’s rules and software system. I sent out some resumes, and one of the first responses I received was from a temp agency that had a spot for an Estimating Manager. I liked estimating and was good at it. I’ve got to admit that I thought of estimating as a “side” job because, as a supervisor or Manufacturing Manager, I was used to being in the middle of the action. Every department has the potential for problems every day. Machines break down, vendors don’t ship, parts don’t arrive, the power goes off, and employees have problems. I sometimes had as many as 130 electronic assemblers and machine shop people working for me and that makes for plenty of HR problems.

The agency’s initial pitch about the estimating job sounded pretty good, so I interviewed with them and the company they were representing, and took the job. It turned out to be a great experience. Not being in the line of fire, I was able to enjoy the estimating job completely. Not being the “go to” guy in the production arena, I didn’t have to respond to the hourly emergencies or get involved in the drama or hassles of production. What a difference! I loved it!

There are a couple of thoughts for your consideration:  Face each day with enthusiasm and with your head on straight. Be aware that after evaluating hundreds of people from entry-level assemblers to electronic engineers, I (or someone like me) can walk in the door of your work place and know from your body language just what kind of person you are. Take this job and love it. Your contribution and attitude will be noticed.

Dave Thomas